Sindiwe Magona is a celebrated South African writer, storyteller and motivational speaker known mainly for her autobiographies, biographies, novels, short stories, poetry and children’s books. I Write the Yawning Void is a collection of essays that highlight her engagement with writing that span the transition from apartheid to the post-apartheid period and addresses themes such as HIV/Aids, language and culture, home and belonging.
Magona worked as a teacher, domestic worker and spent two decades working for the United Nations in the United States of America. She has received many awards for her fearless writing ‘truth to power’. Her written work is often informed by her lived experience of being a black woman resisting subjugation and poverty.
These essays bring to life many facets of Magona’s personal history as well as her deepest convictions, her love for her country and despair at the problems that continue to plague it, and her belief in her ability to activate change. They demonstrate Magona’s engaging storytelling and mastery of the essay form which serve as meaningful supplements to her fictional works, while simultaneously offering insightful responses to the conditions that inspired them.